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Tear Jerker / Red Rising

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Every book in this bloodydamn series makes you want to cry your heart out. As a moments page, all spoilers are unmarked.

     Red Rising 
  • Eo's execution. It is, after all, what started the events of the series. All she did was speak out to inspire Darrow, and she was killed for it in cold blood, with Darrow being forced to perform the finishing pull.
  • Darrow being partnered with Julian in The Passage after they hit it off so well the day before.
  • Pax's death. He was a fun man and an awesome, if somewhat crazy, fellow, so for him to go out as he does is heartbreaking.
  • The Passage truly shows how evil the Society is in matching up teenagers to cull out the weak. Reading the aftermath of every character who bears the shame of killing another young person is simply heartbreaking. Just imagine having to kill your classmate you just made friends with. High school is about making bonds that will last for life but the Society decided to turn it into a way for shame to scar someone for life. All of this for culling out those who don’t deserve life.

     Golden Son 
  • Quinn's succumbing to the injuries sustained in Aja's No Holds Barred Beat Down, and the subsequent decay of Roque and Darrow's friendship.
  • Tactus's death. He chose to do the right thing, and Lorn killed him for it.
    • With Word of Gay confirming him as Bisexual, it's even worse if you subscribe to the theory that Tactus had an unrequited crush on Darrow all along.
  • Fitchner's story of how he lost his wife. She was a Red, him a Gold. They made him choose between his wife and his son. No wonder the guy became Ares.
  • Darrow and Mustang's confrontation in the tunnels of Lykos near the end of the book. Darrow has finally revealed his true identity, and Mustang has no idea how to react.
  • While he's a sociopath and a monster, it's hard not to have a twinge of sympathy for The Jackal. He's an Evil Genius with incredible scheming skill and valor, but we see through his interactions that he was The Unfavorite through his entire life, to the point where he was left to die as a child. While he's a monster now, it's hard to blame him when he finally vents his feelings toward his father and then kills him.
  • The ending. The Jackal has Roque betray the group, has Fitchner's head delivered to Darrow, captures the entire resistance, and utterly wins. Worse yet, Mustang is nowhere to be found and Darrow watches all his plans drift away to nothing.
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     Morning Star 
  • Darrow's time in the Box. His guilt eating at him is heartbreaking to read.
  • Trigg's death. Stabbed through the chest, lifted into the air like a frog on a stick, and dumped off a bridge.
  • While suffocating in the vacuum of space during the escape from Quicksilver's tower in Morning Star, Darrow recalls Roque blushing during Tactus' sex jokes. Given how close Roque and Tactus were at the start of Golden Son, and combined with the fact that both were confirmed as bisexual, it looks like Roque had feelings for Tactus, making the latter's death even more tragic in hindsight.
  • While talking to a Red, Darrow realizes he barely remembers most of his people's culture.
  • Darrow and Sevro's moment of Fighting the Lancer in the second act.
  • As is if we didn’t have enough reasons to hate Nero Au Augustus, Mustang tells about how he allowed her unborn little sister to die simply because “if the child was not fit to survive birth, it did not deserve life.” What’s worse is it led to Mustang’s mother committing suicide. Mustang was only six years old when this happened.
  • The battle that kills Ragnar. Aja taunts Ragnar with the fact he had to rape Pinks while under her father's slavery. This provokes Ragnar into such a rage that he dies in the ensuing clash. Ultimately, his body is brought to his people. It's shocking and heartbreaking.
  • Darrow sells out some of his own people to secure an alliance with House Raa. It's clear that he regrets it, and it's a harsh reminder of exactly how cold the war has forced him to become.
  • After realizing he's lost but being truly loyal to his cause, Roque commits suicide. Darrow is horrified, and it's made even worse by the fact that Victra doesn't understand Roque and doesn't understand why Darrow is so sympathetic to his plight. It gets worse, though; Darrow notices that the Pink who betrayed Roque was likely his lover, and Adrius later goes on to mock him about Quinn's death, noting that he pondered giving her brain damage and then sending her back to Roque to see if he would still love her. Roque's a bad guy, but good lord, he cannot catch a break.
  • While on comms with Virginia and Darrow, they express sympathy for Adrius. In particular, Virginia mentions their mother, telling him he loved her. In response, Adrius hatefully asks if that is why she committed suicide. It's a brutal reminder that for all he's vile, Adrius is just as much a victim of the Golds' cruelty as anyone else.
  • Virginia recalls her childhood, where Adrius would make her puzzles and mazes, and praise her cleverness whenever she finished them. Initially, it's a bittersweet, sad reminder that Adrius wasn't always bad. However, then Virginia discovered that Adrius was self-harming every time she finished one of them and actually made them to try and outwit her. She even tried to deceive him by letting him win, but he never fell for it. It was around that point that Virginia realized just how inhuman her twin brother was.
  • Aja and Octavia's final moments, where Octavia argues for the morality of her actions, and Aja feels that she's failed her ruler. They die together.
  • After claiming their victory, there's still work to be done. Adrius au Augustus is hanged in front of a massive crowd, with Virginia doing the finishing pull just as Darrow once did to Eo as a reminder that she loved her twin brother. Even if you don't feel bad for Adrius, it's impossible not to feel a little sympathy for Mustang as she ends his life.
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